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Poor Communications, Unrealistic Scheduling Lead To IT Project Failure

Besides technical know-how, workers must have solid communications skills, both verbal and written, to complete projects, CompTIA study shows.

Communications failures top the list of reasons IT projects fail, according to poll results from the Computing Technology Industry Association.

About 28% of 1,000 respondents identified poor communications as the main cause of project failure, according to CompTIA, which offers project management training.

About 18% of respondents in the Web poll said that insufficient resource planning was the main contributor, according to the poll, which CompTIA released earlier this month. Unrealistic schedules cause project failure, according to 13% of respondents.

"Clearly, technical skills alone are no longer enough," John Venator, president and CEO of CompTIA, said in a prepared statement. "Technology workers must have solid communications skills, both verbal and written, in order to complete projects that are delivered on time, at or under budget, and provide the promised benefits to the organization."

Gary Baney, CEO of Boundless Flight, an application development firm, agreed that most projects fail because of communication problems.

"Technology projects very seldom fail for technology reasons," he said during a recent interview.

Among other factors cited in the CompTIA Web poll that contribute to project failure were poor project requirements, selected by 9.8% of respondents; lack of stakeholder support, 6.7%; undefined project success criteria, 5.2%; unrealistic budget, 4.8%; insufficient or no risk planning; 4.4%; and lack of change process, 4.3%.

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